Theatre times: ‘Let the right one in’

Preview shows are not meant to be reviewed before the official launch of a theatre production. However during previews, a show will sell tickets to a paying audience, and perform the entire play, as it is meant to be shown. Usually for a few nights before ‘opening night’ on a larger production there will be a few such performances. The point of these is to allow the cast and crew try the show out to a crowd, before critics are invited in, with their poison pens, to give their esteemed written opinions. They get one final chance to iron out last minute creases. The preview is usually a short period of time – unless it’s some massive Broadway show like ‘Spiderman’ – where the previews ran for months.

Last night I saw the second preview show of ‘Let the right one in’ by the National Theatre of Scotland and BKL productions (directed by John Tiffany).  It will be playing in the Abbey Theatre until January 6th. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Let the right one in’


The cold November rain


It’s that time of year again.

The time of year, where I ask myself where on earth I went wrong in my life, that I should end up here – stuck in a corporate job, in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin, behaving like a circus monkey, doing dreary tasks for a company populated by pasty, suburban trolls, that would fire me in an instant if they thought it would save money.

 Yes dear reader. We are currently submerged in the misery of November. My least favourite month of the year. Continue reading The cold November rain

Bookworm: ‘After the funeral’ by Agatha Christie

At the age of twelve, I read ‘Cat among the pigeons’ by Agatha Christie. It was the first novel of hers that I’d read. It introduced me to the character of Hercule Poirot – the portly, eggheaded Belgian detective – whose favourite tipple is sirop de cassis – who travels the world, solving murders committed by the rich and infamous. Continue reading Bookworm: ‘After the funeral’ by Agatha Christie

‘I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight…’


I shot up in my bed, and shivered. I couldn’t see my face, but if I had been able to, I suspect that I would have been as pale as a ghost. I glanced at the alarm clock of hatred, sitting on the bedside locker beside me. It was 3.30am. I felt relieved. I had another four hours left to sleep.

Staggering to the kitchen, I opened the cupboard and selected two of McVitie’s finest digestive biscuits. I was distressed and sweating. Some sugar would help. I don’t think the low blood sugars were the only cause for my concern however. The content of my dream had been most troubling.

The dream had involved a scenario in which the leader of North Korea – murderous dictator Kim-Jong Un –  had romantic designations on me, and wanted to make me his love slave. He had been chasing me through the rooms and dungeons of King John’s Castle in Limerick City, demanding that I requite his love. Continue reading ‘I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight…’

Australia says ‘Yes’

As I was about to go to bed last night, I saw on Facebook, the news trickling through, that Australia had overwhelmingly voted to support same sex marriage, in its non-binding postal vote. Looking at the videos of people celebrating, I felt a real happiness for the gay community in Australia. Particularly for those who plan to get married, or who would one day like to get married.

The last six months will have been grindingly horrible for them. Continue reading Australia says ‘Yes’

Steps: the most electrifying night in the history of show-business

‘So I can’t go to the Steps concert next week, do you want my ticket?’


‘I’ll give you a knockdown price for it.’

SOLD! To the cheapskate from Limerick.

I was going to the 3Arena in Dublin, to see 1990s sensations Steps! (proudly supported by classical violin quartet The Vengaboys). Continue reading Steps: the most electrifying night in the history of show-business

My visitors turned my weekend into the ESB Christmas advert.

So the visitors departed, after their forty eight hour whirlwind visit from the big smoke. I was sad to say goodbye. Guiltily, I also felt a slight sense of relief. I hasten to clarify, that this is not a reflection on the company I keep. My friends are classy Bruces – glamourous and interesting. Continue reading My visitors turned my weekend into the ESB Christmas advert.

Failure: the driving test edition


I did not sleep well on Tuesday night. Well of course I didn’t – on Wednesday morning I had my inaugural driving test. Finally, at an age north of forty, I was going to attempt to get a license, to perform an activity , in which people young enough to be my children are legally allowed to engage. Continue reading Failure: the driving test edition